Watchdog says State Dept. failing to adequately track foreign aid

Watchdog says State Dept. failing to adequately track foreign aid
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The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have failed to adequately track the more than $30 billion they spend annually on foreign aid, according to a government watchdog report released Friday.

The report released by the State Department's Office of the Inspector General noted that the department has failed to build infrastructure for tracking billions of dollars in foreign aid despite being ordered to do so in 2015.

"Because the Department had made such limited progress in building the capacity to centrally track foreign assistance data, [the Office of Inspector General] strengthened and reissued the recommendation in the original report and made an additional recommendation focused on the need for executive leadership to address this Department-wide management challenge," it read.

Despite the recommendation made by the inspector general in 2015, the State Department "cannot obtain timely and accurate data necessary to provide central oversight of foreign assistance activities and meet statutory and regulatory reporting requirements."

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According to the report, little progress has been made at all. The report's summary faults the State Department, saying it "had not complied with the report’s recommendation" in 2015.

The Trump administration has suggested cutting the State Department's budget for foreign aid by 37 percent. The move was blasted by members of Trump's own party, who called the idea a "disaster."

“It’s not going to happen,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDurbin: I had 'nothing to do' with Curbelo snub Republicans jockey for position on immigration Overnight Health Care: House passes 20-week abortion ban | GOP gives ground over ObamaCare fix | Price exit sets off speculation over replacement MORE (R-S.C.) said in late February. "It would be a disaster. A budget this lean would put those who serve overseas for the State Department at risk. And it’s not going to happen.”

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan responded to the report in a memo, saying the department accepted the watchdog recommendations and would begin implementing them.